Photo Credit: Roberto Serra - Iguana Press/Redferns via Getty Images
Somehow, the gravity of the Anne Frank Museum seems to have escaped Justin Bieber. While in Amsterdam on Friday, the pop star visited the house of the teenage Holocaust victim -- and left a shockingly inappropriate message in the museum's guest book.
"Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber," wrote the 19-year-old singer.
Oh, Justin. Not everything is about you! Ignoring, for the moment, the complete failure of logic (would Justin be time-traveling back to 1944 in this scenario?), Bieber's comment shows a remarkable lack of perspective. Anne Frank was one of six million German Jews to be killed by the Nazis; she died in a concentration camp at age 15. Thanks to her diary, published by a surviving relative, Frank is remembered for keeping her faith, her sense of humor, and her belief in human goodness amidst horrible circumstances. Was she a "great girl?" Certainly. Should Bieber's takeaway have been something other than "I bet she'd have liked my music?" We should say so.
The folks at the Anne Frank House are doing their best to give Bieber the benefit of the doubt. "He's 19. It's a crazy life he's living, he didn't mean bad," a spokesperson told the BBC, "and also it's nice that he made the effort, he didn't have to come." Additionally, one of Bieber's people told TMZ that Justin spent a full hour in the museum, and only made his comment because Frank loved the popular music of her time.
Of course, Bieber is no stranger to delivering forehead-smacking faux pas. This is the guy who wore overalls to meet the Canadian Prime Minister and referenced Italy's "Sixteenth Chapel" in a live interview. But the backlash against his Anne Frank gaffe is pretty severe, and for good reason: However innocent, Justin's comment proves just how inflated his ego has become. Here, a sampling of the best Twitter reactions to Bieber's historic fail.
I actually felt bad for Bieber when I read about the Anne Frank thing.But not as bad as I felt for Anne Frank for being murdered by Nazis.— Damon Lindelof (@DamonLindelof) April 14, 2013
"Look at all those potential beliebers, gone." -- @justinbieber watching Schindler's List— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) April 14, 2013
Justin Bieber's making some pretty hard-to-ignore arguments against home schooling.— JohnRossBowie (@JohnRossBowie) April 14, 2013
.@justinbieber If you think I’m hiring you to play my daughter’s bat mitzvah after this, you’ve got another thing coming, mister!— rob delaney (@robdelaney) April 14, 2013
"I've been thinking, and I now believe that people are really terrible and self-absorbed at heart." --Anne Frank— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) April 14, 2013
I'm just bummed I didn't write "Cool girl. Hopefully she'd follow me on Twitter" in Anne Frank's guestbook when I visited.— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) April 14, 2013